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November 5, 2006
WaPo Spins Republican Resurgence

The Washington Post attempts to spin its election coverage this morning by burying the big story of Republican resurgence in the polls below four paragraphs of declaring Democrats the winners at the midterms. In fact, their own polling shows voters returning to the GOP even on the generic Congressional ballot in the final days of the midterm election cycle:

Two days before a bitterly fought midterm election, Democrats have moved into position to recapture the House and have laid siege to the Senate, setting the stage for a dramatic recasting of the power structure in Washington for President Bush's final two years in office, according to a Washington Post analysis of competitive races across the country.

In the battle for the House, Democrats appear almost certain to pick up more than the 15 seats needed to regain the majority. Republicans virtually concede 10 seats, and a split of the 30 tossup races would add an additional 15 to the Democratic column.

The Senate poses a tougher challenge for Democrats, who need to gain six seats to take control of that chamber. A three-seat gain is almost assured, but they would have to find the other three seats from four states considered to have tossup races -- Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Montana.

In governors' races, Democrats are likely to emerge with the majority for the first time in 12 years. Five states are almost certain to switch parties, including the key battlegrounds of New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. Four races are too close to call, but only one of those seats -- in Wisconsin -- is held by a Democrat.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows some narrowing in the Democratic advantage in House races. The survey gives the Democrats a six-percentage-point lead nationally among likely voters asked which party they prefer for Congress. It was 14 points two weeks ago, but this remains a larger advantage than they have had in recent midterm elections.

This matches the momentum we have seen in the various Senate races around the country. After fading back significantly most of the election cycle, Republicans have surged in the final days to put most races in a dead heat. MS-NBC now also shows the GOP retaining control of the Senate, and perhaps losing as few as two seats -- certainly a shift in perception over the last two months:

Just days from the midterm elections, the final round of MSNBC/McClatchy polls shows a tightening race to the finish in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate. Democrats are leading in several races that could result in party pickups, but Republicans have narrowed the gap in other close races, according to Mason-Dixon polls in 12 states.

If this trend keeps up for the Senate seats, then it stands to reason that it will impact House seats as well. Of course, one could question whether we're seeing momentum -- or an attempt by pollsters to provide better accuracy in the final snapshots before the actual election. In either case, the news looks much better than predicted for the GOP -- and a strong get-out-the-vote effort might save both majorities.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 5, 2006 8:50 AM

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